I realise that this novel is not a recent release; however, it does deserve (in my opinion) a mention. It depicts the lives of two characters: the young Kafka Tamura and the ageing Nakata. You are instantly dipped into the enchanting and hypnotic world of Murakami: full of endless and vivid imagery. The Times is quoted as describing it as “Hypnotic, spellbinding,” and the Guardian have been quoted as stating that it is “Murakami’s most addictive fix to date.”
The book begins with criss-crossing chapters. The chapters juxtapose the charming and unnerving life of Kafka against U.S Army Intelligence reports from the late 1940s, which is just the beginning of the novel’s captivating narrative. Murakami’s tendency to laden his novels with supernatural elements is a prevalent theme within Kafka on the Shore. The novel features: ghosts; men who can talk to cats; a man who cuts off cat’s heads; talking cats and fish raining from the sky – phew. The novel is not completely consumed by the supernatural events which occur, for all of you who are not Sci-Fi or supernatural fans. There are also references to music such as Bob Dylan and the Beatles, but also to the tale of Oedipus which comes to life in the relationships Kafka Tamura shares with his father and his long lost mother and sister.
Kafka on the Shore is a novel which completely devours your imagination, taking the reader deeper and deeper into the haunting and spectacular worlds of Kafka and Nakata. As you can imagine, it is not the easiest book to read as Murakami is very demanding of your attention, which I was (and hopefully many of you will be) more than willing to give. I recommend this book to anybody who is hoping for an escape, a treat, or just a good book to read. Enjoy…